An open letter to Jeph Loeb

Marc Alan Fishman

Marc Alan Fishman is a graphic designer, digital artist, writer, and most importantly a native born Chicagoan. When he's not making websites, drawing and writing for his indie company Unshaven Comics, or rooting for the Bears... he's a dedicated husband and father. When you're not enjoying his column here on ComicMix, feel free to catch his comic book reviews weekly at MichaelDavisWorld, and check out his books and cartoons at Unshaven Comics.

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15 Responses

  1. Paul Nolan says:

    Wait a sec…. you continued to buy stories from a writer, whose stories you didn't enjoy?I believe there's only one person at fault. Publishers won't change writers, or give writers new work if the sales aren't there.

    • Marc Alan Fishman says:

      More to the point Paul, I gave him a second and third chance. I was young, impressionable, and believed the hype. I felt like maybe I was wrong. But, now, I've since come to my senses.

  2. Brandon Barrows says:

    I have to ask…RAO as in Rick Oliver? Whatever happened to him, anyway?As far as Jeph Loeb goes, he's a good writer when he wants to be…but as your letter indicates, he trades too much on his name and past successes to carry him. I truly believe he just has his fingers in too many pies to fully commit to writing comics so that he can invest his true creative potential into them.I read the first 8(I think) issues of Hulk, right up to the point where Red She-Hulk magically appeared and said "Let me off. I'm gonna be sick." I'll probably never read the Hulk again.

  3. Linda Gold says:

    Rick Oliver retired from comics with the end of First Comics and has worked for years as a computer programmer. Mike and I see him almost every time we visit Chicago and consider him one of best friends. A great guy, smart, funny and one of the best conversationalists we know.

    • Brandon Barrows says:

      Thanks, Linda. I appreciate knowing that.I have been a tremendous fan of First Comics for 20 some odd years, and Rick's was a name I always looked for on other stuff but never saw anywhere. Easy to find other folks I'll always associate with First (it's why I'm here after all), but I always wondered about Rick.Thanks again, glad to hear you folks have kept in touch.

  4. Brian Sokol says:

    I wasn't sure if Marc's experience with Jeph Loeb was universal or merely a matter of opposing tastes. I went to Facebook to see just how popular Jeph Loeb really is these days. Jeph Loeb has 1,442 fans. To put this in perspective, a fan page for actual literal shit has 1,903 fans.Groups dedicated to Jeph Loeb include:-Jeph Loeb SUCKS!!!!!!-Boycott Jeph Loeb! STOP THE MADNESS!-Jeph Loeb shoud NOT write comics-Jeph Loeb was sent by DC to destroy Marvel-Jeph Loeb said this group may seem out of continuity, but really, it isn't.-Red Hulk is Boring!!!In fact, there are no groups that are positive fans of Jeph Loeb. Not a single one.I personally agree with Marc, as I only read Jeph Loeb for the same reason I read Clairemont, for the cheap thrills.

  5. Nick says:

    Marc, you know how critical I am. Loeb has been on my hate list since the whole Red Hulk thing began. I think its because it was my first Loeb exposure, since the Batman books he wrote. Anyway, I honestly do believe that Loeb's talent died, when his son did. Yes, its a harsh thing to say, but it fits. And he failed (and to a lesser degree, so did Marvel) miserably to pull the trigger on the Red Hulk's identity. Marvel kept hyping that the "Next Issue Red Hulk's Identity Will Be Revealed! It Will Shock The Marvel Universe To Its Very Core!" And it was another issue filled with bad dialogue and a way too powerful protagonist. (Or is that antagonist?) It was just boring. Keep in mind I dropped the book after issue three. I checked it out from the shelf. Back to my original thought. He and Marvel both failed on pulling the trigger. His identity should have been revealed within the first 6-11 issues. Its now over 18. And people just don't care.Ah hell, I could go on my own rant/open letter. (I think i just did.)

    • Marc Alan Fishman says:

      For me it was a big thing for him to have all that set up, with no where to go. All the red herrings, etc., Red Hulk started out as a gimmick, and frankly has become a joke in my mind. He was touted as "the next big villain" and how long did it take to unearth a Red She Hulk? Seriously? You're right, they should have revealed in issue 6 who it was. But you know what? I honestly think Jeph didn't have an identity planned. All this time, it's just been back peddling or at best… writing around the problem. For a while there, Hulk was a real NAME in marvel. Planet Hulk got a good buzz, and WWHulk delivered decent action, and then 14,000 splash pages later, Hulk was right back to being a big dumb boring retread.

  6. Eric Garneau says:

    Marc, I agree with you here. I especially like the ex-girlfriend metaphor … "Long Halloween" and "Superman for All Seasons" are like that honeymoon period, you know? And then comes "Superman/Batman" and "Hulk," where you realize that all your girlfriend really wants to do is sleep all day and listen to terrible bands like Evanescence and hook up with your stoner acquaintances when you're not looking and… well, you get my point. HOW COULD YOU, JEPH?!Worst thing Loeb ever did, IMO, was the first Superman/Batman arc. Having Lex Luthor be president in the DCU was, to me, brilliant. And then Jeph decides to take him out of office, how? With political intrigue? A story where we can see Bruce Wayne and J'onn J'onnz engaging in covert, back-room black ops stuff to get one of the most evil men of all time out of a tremendous seat of power? No, that's too cool. LET'S PUT HIM IN A GIANT ROBOT SUIT. YEA! Jeph Loeb, it's over. I'd give you your CDs back, but I'm doing you a favor by throwing them out.

    • Marc Alan Fishman says:

      –and I'm changing my number. Stop sending me issues of Ultimatum. You haven't changed!

  7. Delmo Walters Jr. says:

    The only reason I put up with Hulk is because of Ed McGuiness. If he wasn't the lead artist on that book, I'd have dropped it by now.

  8. Tom Fitzpatrick says:

    Woe! Woe! WOE to the readers of the Loeb!Because of the remaining blasts of the trumpet of the three angels who are about to sound!Read not the Loeb!Read not the Loeb!

  9. Alan Kistler says:

    It is sad when someone does great work and then later you find yourself wondering what happened. With Loeb, I look and I see what are, at surface, great ideas. I think the basic plot of each of his story arcs is pretty cool. But the problem is the execution. There's no breath, not atmosphere, not enough feel for the real characters. It becomes ONLY about the concept and the idea that it isn't given the polish to actually work as a story. And that's sad.Also, while I don't think you need to explain EVERYTHING for the reader, you also don't want people scratching their heads and asking "so what was the deal with that whole thing?" three years later.With all that said, nothing excuses Red Hulk punching Watcher or being able to punch Thor in space. It's SPACE. No gravity. BAH!

    • mike weber says:

      And, with no gravity, mass rather than weight becomes important. How does Red Hulk's mass compare to that of the others? That is, if his mass is several times theirs and he throws a punch, yes, it's gonna accelerate him backward – but a lot more of its force is going to be used up accelerating the less-massive being on the receiving end.The total momentum of the system must remain constant, but the force involved will split unevenly according to the proportionate mass of the two things on opposite ends of the lever arm (so to speak).

  10. Kyle Gnepper says:

    I don't know why I keep suffering through what this man puts out. I loved Long Halloween and Dark Victory. I even will go out and say I thought Hush was okay.Superman/ Batman was terrible. Part of me wants to believe that it was part editorial mandate. I imagine he was told to get Luthor out of office as early steps for Infinite Crisis and having Supergirl arrive would be a plus. But my god, the execution was terrible. Luthor kissing Amanda Waller still makes me gag. Eeeww.I still think the worse thing is how he treated the Ultimate Universe. After stepping in from Millar's run he turned thor into a yee old dumbass and seemed to think exciting = killing as many characters as possible. Marc, you know I'm a completest, but even I didn't buy the last issue of Ultimates 3. And Ultimatum was just one death and/or unnecessary splash page after another. I understand he has a new ultimate series coming soon. I don't care how important they want to say it is this time. Not one more dollar from me either.